CSExtra – Friday, January 20, 2012
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Friday’s CSExtra offers a collection of the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. In Washington, NASA’s inspector general outlines plans for a Congressionally mandated assessment of NASA’s strategic direction and management. Top climate scientists find 2011 among the warmest years, though the global average dipped slightly. Solar activity on Thursday could illuminate the Northern Lights this weekend. In Florida, the U.S. Air Force successfully launches a military communications satellite. In Los Angeles, critics like a new private space travel documentary. A Russian space official suggests design and development lapses rather than U. S. radar interference were to blame for the loss of a recent Mars mission. Discussion of eliminating the “leap second” is tabled at least for now.
1. From Spacepolicyonline.com: NASA’s Inspector General commissions the National Research Council for a fast paced assessment of NASA’s strategic direction and management. The study, ordered by Congress, will examine the match between the agency’s strategic goals and anticipated future funding. http://bit.ly/AzgN9m
A. From Space-travel.com and Ria Novosti of Russia: Russian, U. S. and European officials discuss the prospects for human moon bases, according to the director of Roscosmos, the Russian federal space agency. The options include a lunar orbiting base or a surface encampment, Vladimir Popovkin reportedly tells a radio interviewer. http://bit.ly/zLk4uZ
2. From the Associated Press via the Houston Chronicle: Scientists say the world made a brief departure from a gradual overall rise in average temperature. Nonetheless, 2011 was the 11th warmest year on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. An occasional cooling of Pacific waters, a phenomenon known as La Nina, can be credited for the milder conditions. Meanwhile, some regions of the globe experienced their warmest years. http://bit.ly/z1mznb
A. From Universe Today.com: The average global surface temperature for 2011 ranked as the ninth warmest since 1880 even with the cooling effects of La Nina, according to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. http://bit.ly/yGnNRD
3. From USA Today: A Coronal Mass Ejection unleashed by the sun on Thursday should reach the Earth on Saturday, illuminating the Northern Lights and possibly causing some communications disruptions. http://usat.ly/yfHB90
4. From Spaceflightnow.com: The U. S. Air Force successfully launches a Delta 4 rocket with a military communications satellite. http://bit.ly/AzUIcy
5. From The Los Angeles Times: A critic for the newspaper touts Man on a Mission: Richard Garriot’s Road to the Stars, a 2008 documentary about the Austin, Tex. video game designer’s $30 million trip to the International Space Station aboard a Russian spacecraft. http://lat.ms/xhdjAh
6. From Itar-Tass of Russia: The recent loss of Russia’s Phobos-Grunt Mars mission was likely caused by design and production errors, according to Vladimir Popovkin, the chief of the country’s Federal Space Agency. Popovkin’s comments on Thursday counter those from others that suggested U. S. radar emission may have prevented an crucial engine firing, following an early November lift off. http://bit.ly/wlyiYf
A. From Discovery.com: Whatever happened to the U. K’s Beagle 2 Mars lander? The probe was silenced in late 2003 as it descended toward a landing on Mars as part of the European Space Agency’s Mars Express mission. The curious continue to sift through imagery gathered by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to see if they can identify a crash site. http://bit.ly/yURhzS
7. From the New York Times: At a meeting of the International Telecommunications Union in Geneva, delegates postpone until at least 2015 the notion of eliminating the “leap second” from global time keeping standards. The “leap second” is occasionally added to the time keeping of atomic clocks to keep them in sync with the Earth’s rotation cycles. The postponement will permit more discussion on the issue.
Brought to you by the Coalition for Space Exploration, CSExtra is a daily compilation of space industry news selected from hundreds of online media resources. The Coalition is not the author or reporter of any of the stories appearing in CSExtra and does not control and is not responsible for the content of any of these stories. The content available through CSExtra contains links to other websites and domains which are wholly independent of the Coalition, and the Coalition makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or authenticity of the information contained in any such site or domain and does not pre-screen or approve any content. The Coalition does not endorse or receive any type of compensation from the included media outlets and is not responsible or liable in any way for any content of CSExtra or for any loss, damage or injury incurred as a result of any content appearing in CSExtra. For information on the Coalition, visit www.spacecoalition.com or contact us via e-mail at [email protected].